Tuesday, 19 January 2016

Home education choices in the news again.

The interview on Loose Women today opened up the conversation about Elective Home Education  you can find the interview here.. or watch it below.

Wow some of the comments are pretty awsome in support for home education, but boy, oh boy, the amount of people who have no clue about the system they have signed up for is pretty astonishing. I will highlight some of the most uneducated comments throughout this post from one of the threads I saw.

The law states that home education is the responsibility of the parent, whether you take that on board yourself and home educate, or delegate that job to the state, is your choice, but surely if you delegate your responsibility to the state then would you not want to know what options there are available and what you are actually signing up for.
Home Education Law in England:- 
Parents' Duty
Section 7 of the Education Act 1996 states that:
The parent of every child of compulsory school age shall cause him to receive efficient full-time education suitable—
(1) to his age, ability and aptitude, and
(2) to any special educational needs he may have,
either by regular attendance at school or otherwise.

Most of these parent have no clue what is even in the curriculum or what their kids are learning day in and day out, they just take it in faith that their cherubs are receiving an education and await test and exam results for confirmation that they are.

When you sign up to state education you are signing a contract in return for receiving a variable amount of circa £3500 per child, per annum, the stake holders (tax payers) need to know their money is being spent wisely and the children are getting the education the money is paying for to a certain standard, in rolls OFSTEAD.

Personally, if I as a tax payer am funding these kids in school, then yes go to school and stop taking your kids on holiday when they should be in school learning. You hear the old 'well they can learn more on holiday in Spain', well if you want to home educate then de-registered and do that, or alternatively keep to the contract which you signed and get your child in school every day and stop wasting my tax money having days off and getting behind with the work they should be doing, like all the rest of the kids in their school who are abiding by that contract you signed to get them through the prescribed exams...  

It is astounding that in this day and age that something as important as education you would just dump your kids in school and have no clue what is going on and what options there are to help your child take advantage of everything out there that could improve their long term chances, and particularly when it is all paid for.

Most people do not have the first clue, they drop their kids of at the school gate, relieved to get rid of their kid for the day, and that is about as involved as they get, or they may ask their child the odd question or two about how the kid is getting on,  and if they are lucky they may receive a grunt back. 

Yet these are the very people who think they have the right to criticise something they know absolutely nothing about.

It astounds me, these are the people who bang on about the importance of socialising when they have no idea themselves how to navigate in an environment that they send their kids to every day

More astonishingly some people actually think sitting at a desk all day with the same kids and the same adults, day in and day out, separated from the real world as 'socialising', and criricise those kids home educating that are out there day in and day out forging their way in the world interacting with the real world inhibitants as 'strange' and 'unsocial'. Oh the irony of it all...lol..

Apart from the usual wrong conceptions and those glaringly obvious people who are totally brainwashed and cannot see any other way than their small 'shove the kid in school approach', the thing that stood out at me the most from the whole saga and multiple postings and newspaper articles is the lack of knowledge people have about educational choices out there.

A lot of people commented on the perceived lack of exam choices, 

which is obviously a fallacy, exams are a choice for home educated kids, that could be at a college through a vocational course which they can start to attend at 14, or they can sit private exams at an external exam centre to go onto University.

Here are a few examples that hit the news about home educated kids who have done well with their exams. Click on the titles to read more about each one, these are just a few and there are an awful lot more who do not hit the news.

This is also Oxfords statement on home educated children applying for their courses which you can find here

As you can see exams are not exclusively for schooled kids and we don't even need to even go into the opportunities for adult education that there is out there, that is another story.
The thing with home education for the child is that they choose their own path, they study what they find interesting, if that is mechanics, they go and do a mechanics or bricklaying course, if they choose to go onto further education and sit A level's then they can aim and take exams to get themselves there, the pressure of 'having' to do something that they do not want to do, is removed.

They usually find their interests early on as a home educator, due to the freedom they have to shape their own days, and explore their own interests, not something that is prescibed by the state, you do not have an adult telling you that 'you can not do that;, instead you have a bank of adults that will offer advice to do that and you have opportunity to do anything you want and learn anything you want.

The home eduated child will do whatever they want, if they want to be a vet, they will more than likely seek out some volunteering opportunites to get an inside look at what goes on in a vets day, they may volunteer at a local stable or choose a dog kennels to volunteer at, those mentors working there are probably more than willing to talk through career choices and how to become what they want to become. Volunteering opportunities out there are in abundance, real life working experience.

My two at the moment want to be ambulance drivers, so they attend St Johns Ambulance once a week, that may well, and probly will change as they are only six, but I am confident that whatever they choose they will seek out those opportunities and go for whatever they choose and do whatever is necessary to get there.

Education is not school, education is what they are providing at school, education is what home educated kids live, sleep, eat and breath. Every day is an education for home educated kids, they learn because they choose in various ways, the information around them, they take from the world what it wants to teach, it is limitless.

Perspective is what education is, school educated people perceive education as the tradition, be told what to learn for a specific reason, there is no love of learning for the sake of it, it is learning what you need to do, to be able to pass an exam and make the grade for OFSTEAD inspections. 

People in schools learn to learn when they leave school, after they have done what they need to do for the government statistics, exams are a measurement of how funds have been spent, a one size fits all model that is outdated and does not work, but is a necessary for the schools to work, unless someone can come up with a different model to the hot housing that it currently is, that is what you have to work with, this has been the default norm for so long, but people are waking up and can see options, that is why there is this sudden increase of home educators in the UK, for those that can think outside the box and make it work, they do, for those that can't they are stuck with a system, they will have to make the most out of and work with. .

It is glaringly obvious that those voices so against home education are the ones who are ignorant of what home education really is, they really have no idea.

The support networks out there for home education in UK is incredible, there are national groups and regional groups, just type in home education in your facebook search bar and you will find endless groups, not just home education groups, but subject groups on history, maths, science languages etc, there are nature groups, pre home ed groups for toddlers, teen groups, trip groups, there are even camping festivals for home educators to get together with people they meet all across the country, you name it, there is a support group for it. The support out there is mind blowing compared to what it was when I first got involved 5 years ago. 

Yes an organisation that is unstructured and as autonomous as home education can work, it organises itself. 

We do not need the government telling us how and what to do, we have it covered, we home educate because we do not believe the government is doing a good enough job and we would rather do it ourselves...

Clearly the British public need to get an education on their educational choices for their children, they need to understand the law and understand what they are signing up for when signing up to state education and equally what they are undertaking when they choose otherwise than at school education. But clearly there really is a lack of education on educational choices in UK.

 We are fortunate enough in this country to have educational freedom, it is such a sad state of affairs that there are so many people who do not realise that and think there is only one way.

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